Sales Predictions 2015The New Year is well underway, which means as a sales professional you already have your sales targets for 2015 in place and are making serious efforts to reach your goals. It’s important to consider industry trends and environmental influences which may assist or impede you on your path to success.

We spoke with 14 influential sales leaders about their predictions for 2015 to help you best prepare for the year ahead. This select group of experts are renowned for their repeated sales success and have been pivotal in driving global businesses forward.

Predictions for 2015 by 14 Sales Thought Leaders

We asked the experts for their predictions on, what trends can we expect to see in sales in 2015?

The sales leaders also shared their thoughts on what will be key to businesses making sales, as well as the challenges which sales professionals may face.

Here are their responses:

1. Dan McDade

President and CEO of PointClear, LLC. Named one of the 50 most influential people in sales lead management for the last five consecutive years (Sales Lead Management Association)

Dan McDade

“2015 will be the Year of Nurturing for Profit – After five years, sales and marketing organizations are waking up to the fact that inbound marketing alone is insufficient in generating the number of qualified sales ready leads necessary to make their number. An intelligent blend of inbound, nurturing and outbound marketing is critical to creating and growing a healthy sales pipeline. Successful companies will use predictive marketing strategies to reveal leads with high revenue potential and invest heavily in nurturing activities to drive the buying process to a fruitful close.”

2. Atri Chatterjee

Chief Marketing Officer, Act-On Software – Marketing Automation for the Real World

Atri Chatterjee

“This year we will see a shift in sales’ perception of modern marketing techniques, with the wider adoption of front-office technologies like marketing automation by sales. As a result, marketing and sales will become more aligned and marketing departments will begin to play a bigger role in the sales process.”

3. Kyle Porter

CEO, SalesLoft – Sales Development Prospecting & Automation

Kyle Porter

“Sales development emerged strongly last year as a vital piece of the revenue generating organization. In fact, the rise of sales development represents the most significant sales process improvement in the last decade. Companies will continue to specialize their sales forces in 2015 and reap the rewards of a team totally focused on converting prospects (inbound or outbound) into qualified appointments and demos. We’ll help them as the only creator of software specific for the sales development role.”

4. Jill Rowley

Keynote Speaker / Social Selling Evangelist / Startup Advisor / Modern Marketing Expert / Change Agent

Jill Rowley

“I am hopeful for a mindset shift from selling to serving. Sales professionals need to move from using LinkedIn as their online resume, to managing their digital reputation. Instead of optimizing for the recruiter; optimize for the buyer. Here’s how:

It’s no longer Always Be Closing; it’s Always Be Connecting. Your network is your net worth. Nobody likes to be sold to. We’re living in the Age of the Customer where buyers have choice and voice.
Sales professionals need to read; read what their buyers read and share that content across their social networks.
Sales professionals learn how to listen; listen to the conversations being had on the social web. Social Selling is about finding and being found.

Social Selling training for your Sales team is NOT OPTIONAL because a fool with a tool is still a fool. Oh, and if you suck offline; you’ll suck MORE online. #Don’tSuck.”

5. Joe Hyland

Chief Marketing Officer, Taulia – Cloud-Based Invoice, Payment and Dynamic Discounting Management Solutions

Joe Hyland

“Enterprises are seeking tangible value from their purchases – I see this continuing in 2015. The days of buying for convenience are behind us, as businesses need to show measurable benefits for their spend.”

6. Matt Heinz

President, Heinz Marketing Inc – Sales acceleration, demand generation, pipeline management

Matt Heinz

“One of the biggest challenges for sales professionals in 2015 will be earning the attention of prospects. It’s getting noisier and noisier out there. First attention is great, but ongoing attention is far more difficult. It requires creating more value, again and again, than salespeople are used to. Higher bar, but world-class sales organizations will be up for it.

To drive higher sales productivity and conversion rates, sales leaders need to focus on discipline and process. Fundamentally, this literally comes down to email management, time management, calendar management, task management. Fight the daily war against distraction and non-urgent fire drills. Focus exclusively on what’s most important to your pipeline. That’s how you win.

Technology adoption among sales professionals has been well behind marketing. That needs to change. There is a growing number of automation technologies focused on sales professionals, but we need those same sales professionals to pick up the sword and take advantage of what is now in front of them.”

7. Dave Oliver

Director of e-Applications, United American Insurance Company

Dave Oliver

“As a Director for United American Insurance Co. I believe that online sales will continue to be our growth model for the near future as well as long term. As such, we continue to support our agents with online sales techniques as well as quality online programs to achieve those sales. Mikogo is an integral part of many of our agents’ online sales process and will only continue to grow and change the sales process to a new, more efficient method of reaching new clients.”

8. Patrick Nowakowski

Business Development Executive, Shiftsuite – Condo / HOA Accounting & Management Software

Patrick Nowakowski

“Our sales team is small but needs to achieve scale in various markets across the world. It’s just not possible hiring a multitude of sales people and run the risks of training issues, incorrect product positioning or management nightmares. This year we focus on delivering the sales experience and work the cycles online – lead the client through product proposals, demonstrations, incentives and even digital contract agreements, all through the internet.”

9. Dave McLaughlin

CEO/Co-Founder, Vsnap – Faster lead conversion for inside sales teams

Dave McLaughlin

“This year we’ll see sales leaders make more improvements in the middle portions of the buyer journey. The tools and the data to do that are available, and sales leaders have seen that the best-selling talent is migrating to teams that give reps what they need to win more and more of their opportunities, rather than just banging away at empty activity metrics.”

10. Daniel Kushner

CEO, Oktopost – The Platform built for B2B Social Media Marketing

Daniel Kushner

“This year in sales, we will see more social data and intelligence used in sales calls. Today’s B2B social media marketing platforms and marketing automation systems are constantly gathering online behavioral insights. This data, once pushed to sales, arms the reps with intelligent talking points, building trust and shortening the sales cycle.”

11. Tim Paige

Conversion Educator, LeadPages – The ‘Next Generation’ Lead Generation Platform

Tim Paige

“For 2015, you’re going to see more and more people doing business with people they feel they can relate to in some way. Commercials feature more “regular” people doing “regular” things. And the person who can open his or herself up as much as possible will get ahead.”

12. David Meerman Scott

Sales & Marketing Strategist and bestselling author of ten books including The New Rules of Sales and Service

David Meerman Scott

“Marketing and sales are converging in digital. 2015 will be the year marketers will embrace their sales colleagues rather than fight them about leads.”

13. Fred Shilmover

CEO, Insightsquared – Business Analytics app for data-driven executives

Fred Shilmover

“Analytics will trickle down from management and become a team-wide tool, and sales teams specifically will become much more metrics-driven as a result. These metrics will allow sales leaders to forecast more accurately, using data to better predict and manage their teams and goals this coming year.”

14. Scott Kabat

Chief Marketing Officer, Prezi – the Interactive, Cloud-Based Presentation Platform

Scott Kabat

“We expect to see continued growth in the bottoms-up adoption of new sales tools. We hear of more and more cases of one or two passionate advocates emerging in a sales organization and then persuading their coworkers to try something new. In the case of Prezi, that virality happens seamlessly when a single users creates a presentation using our platform and them shares it with colleagues. This trend toward consumerization of technology is accelerating in businesses of all sizes.”

Key Takeaways

  1. Sales success is dependent upon more than just inbound marketing. This year sales will adopt further marketing techniques including marketing automation, lead nurturing and sales development. Sales and marketing must work closer together than ever before.
  2. Get social by networking online with your potential buyers. Wherever they are, you should be too, because buyers will do business with those they can relate to.
  3. Analytical data from social, marketing and management will play a crucial role in sales. Technology and online sales tools, as well as data, will enable salespeople to focus on the middle of a buyer’s journey and shorten the sales cycle.
  4. There is a lot of competition for the attention of buyers, and world-class sales teams will rise above the rest by offering greater value and measurable benefits to prospects.

Download and Share

The above sales leaders’ predictions are available as a free PDF download. Just click the button below to open the file:

Sales Trends (PDF)

All statements by the thought leaders are also available as a slideshare:

Click on the button to load the content from www.slideshare.net.

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Join the Discussion:

So there you have it. Feel free to forward these quotes (or the PDF above) to your sales team. Use your favorite quote as your desktop wallpaper which will serve as a nice form of motivation – start your workday with advice on what’s most important in sales this year, direct from the experts!

  • Which trends resonate most with your line of sales?
  • What are your predictions for sales trends in 2015?

Share your thoughts in a comment below.